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Senate okays state of emergency law

Senate okays state of emergency law

The Senate on Friday gave its nod to the state of emergency draft law. In an extraordinary session chaired by its acting president Sim Ka, the Senate said the bill provides solid legal foundation for the government to govern the country with drastic measures in a state of emergency in accordance with the Constitution.

The bill, it said, empowers the two legislative bodies to monitor and evaluate the government's implementation of the law to prevent abuses of its authority.

Consisting of five chapters and 12 articles, the draft law sets out formalities, procedures and terms to declare a state of emergency if the country runs into danger and stipulates a maximum 10-year imprisonment for anyone caught breaking it or hindering its enforcement.

Article 5 stipulates that certain measures would be taken in a state of emergency including restrictions on the people’s rights, freedom of movement, gatherings, jobs and occupations.

It allows the state to impose a lockdown, quarantine, conscription and evacuation. The state can also manage, seize and handle properties when necessary to respond to an emergency.

A copy of the draft law seen by The Post on Sunday said a state of emergency may not exceed three months, though it can be prolonged under the same conditions as when it is declared.

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